I Really Want To Pursue Nursing But I Have Doubts...
I'm a junior in high school who dreams of becoming a nurse. Although I really want to be a nurse, my family is not enthusiastic about this idea. What can I do?
So I'm a junior in high school, and it's my dream to become a nurse. I want to pursue this career because I love helping people, I love seeing smiles on people's faces, I want to make a direct impact on patient's lives by being there for them, and as self-entitled as this sounds, I think I would make a really good nurse. There are a huge number of problems though...
1. My family is against me pursuing nursing
My dad believes that nursing is for people who can't make it to med school, and he said that nurses are equivalent to mechanics is nursing is an "unskilled job," which is so not true! He said in India (where my parents come from) nursing is not considered an honorable career. He thinks I'd be better off in sales/marketing because I am a social person who can talk to anybody and I am really good at selling stuff. My mom has a friend who is a nurse and my mom said that she has to clean poop, so nursing is not fun. I am aware of the difficulties that nurses have to endure, yet I still want to pursue this. They both say that nurses don't earn enough, especially in the SF Bay Area where we live and everything is so expensive. However, I am a frugal person who does not plan on having kids so I think I can make it work. As long as I am making a decent salary, money is not an issue for me.
2. My dad keeps trying to convince me to go into either medicine, dentistry, or business.
I can't do dentistry because I do not have the best teeth and I don't have the best oral hygiene practices myself, (I can't even floss!) so how would I be a dentist? I used to want to be an M.D, but after my internet research, I have decided that I would rather be a nurse because of the direct patient contact and care versus the diagnosing. And quite frankly, I have no interest in economics or business.
3. Nursing school in CA is INSANELY competitive
I'm not going to sugarcoat it; I'm just not a good student. I immensely screwed (due to sheer laziness)up my freshman and sophomore year, earning GPA's in the 2.7-3.0 range. However, I shaped up my junior year and received a 3.5. I know that's not extraordinary by any means, however next semester is coming up next week and I plan to obtain a 4.0. I received a C in biology my freshman year because I gave up due to my bad attitude, but I plan to take AP Biology my senior year and obviously study very hard, so that I can be prepared. I also received a B and a C in chemistry last year, due to laziness. However, I plan to take Intro to Chem I at the community college this year, since it's a nursing prereq anyway. I know this sounds conceited, but I know I can get an A if I actually study my hardest. Anatomy and Physiology is much, MUCH harder than both bio and chem at my school, yet due to my decent studying habits I obtained an A. However, I'm worried that I won't get into any colleges for nursing due to the B's and C's in bio and chem. I wouldn't mind community college, but my family thinks that it's not a viable option (I disagree!)
4. My parents think this is just a phase and I'm not serious about nursing
My mom thinks I won't make it in nursing school due to my lazy study habits in the past, so she said that I have to go through with it. However, I am scared that I just won't make it into nursing school, and then I will lose my family's financial support for college. My mom specifically said that she won't pay for my college if I don't pursue nursing all the way.
5. My mom's friend who was an RN, ADN and now is a professor at CSUEB does not recommend going into nursing.
She thinks I won't make it because I'm not aggressive enough and that I'm too nice. She is going to take me with her students to the floor one day so that I can see what the nurses actually do. She said that although nurses make a decent salary and have a lot of flexibility, she did not like it because of the feces and the night shifts. My mom and dad both think that I'm not "rough and tough enough' to make it, this discourages me
However there are some good aspects concerning me...1. I start volunteering at a nursing home near my house soon! So excited!
2. I did get an A in Anatomy, which is considered almost as hard as AP Biology at my school.
3. I am a very patient and caring person which I believe are 2 very important aspects for a nurse.
4. This is my dream and I am willing to work as hard as it takesWhat should I do? How do I convince my parents that I'm serious about nursing? Will I get into any of the colleges as a prenursing/nursing major? What's the stigma behind community college anyway?
Thank you, I know this post was extremely longLast edit by Joe V on Jun 16, '18
Jan 3, '17Go for it!
You sound like a very bright and thoughtful person, and if it is your dream to be a nurse, you can make it happen.
It it sounds like you're on the right track. Volunteering is a good plan - it will give you some exposure to the nursing field and has the extra benefit of looking good on your college applications. And thinking ahead to your last year of high school is very smart. Strength in your science courses will benefit you when it comes to applying for pre-nursing/nursing in college.
I can't help you convince your parents that this is the right career path for you. I was lucky and have parents who encouraged me to pursue nursing when I was in high school, even when I didn't have much interest in it. I will say that becoming a nurse was the best decision I've ever made. If it it your desire to become a nurse, and you're willing to work for it, I have a feeling your parents will come around.
Best of luck to you!Jan 4, '17Thank you so much, RotorRunner! Your comment was really encouraging. I plan to use my volunteering experience to show my parents that I am serious about thisJan 4, '17Simple, go with your gut. Who cares what your father thinks! If he is so enamored with medicine, let him go to medical school! In any event, it is your life you are trying to build so if nursing is where your heart is, go for it! The sky is the limit!Jan 4, '17I like your enthusiasm But my father is paying for my education, or at least a huge portion of it! So I kinda have to get him to agree with me lolJan 4, '17You are so fortunate to have parents willing & able to finance your education - this is a rarity. As you have acknowledged, this does give them a 'say' in your educational choices.
IMO, you probably need to talk to your father about his opinion of the nursing profession. Make sure he understands how different nursing is in the US compared to India. For instance, the Gallup Poll which was just released shows that Nursing is once again rated as the Most Trusted Profession in the US - just as we have been for the last 15 years. Nursing education is rigorous, so based on the information you have provided about your past performance I can understand your parents' concern about your commitment. Professional Nursing is far from an unskilled job - it is highly regulated and monitored to ensure that we continue to deserve the public trust.
It's unfortunate that your parents' have been so heavily influenced by their friend - who, frankly seems to be overly fixated on aspects of patient care related to personal hygiene. I encourage you to explore The National Association of Indian Nurses of America - they have a mentor program that can help you with family discussions and practical advice on achieving your goals.
Wishing you the best of luck on your nursing education journey.Jan 4, '17First of all, I say go for it! Secondly skip the volunteer stuff. Go into a summer CNA class and get certified. Volunteering will get you nowhere. Being a CNA in California you can make anywhere from 14-20/hr and as a young nursing student in community college you will develop professionally in a way that will compliment your nursing program very well. Not to mention you won't have to rely on your parents for every little thing. This will also give you a leg up on every other possibly nursing student applicant who gets out if high school and thinks they dont need work experience. The reality is in California community college you don't get in with out queen experience. Best of luck to you! You can do it!Jan 4, '17I have also explored the possibility of becoming a CNA first. The only problem - you have to be a high school graduate to become one, and there aren't very many CNA programs available near me. I really like the idea of becoming a CNA first though; I have heard that it greatly increases your chance of getting into nursing school!Jan 4, '17Quote from anushkabanerjee2000Wow your mom and her friends seem to be really focus on bodily functions aka poop. Study hard, stay focused and go to medical school—specialize in gastrointestinal medicine, and prove to mom and her nurse buds that poop can be (apologies to Jed Clampett and his kin ) black gold, Texas tea—yee ha! Examination of all bodily functions can be educational and diagnostically fun. Many of my best nurse bonding moments have happened over Hersey blow-outs. Just depends on attitude… whether or not you see the bedpan half full or half empty. In nursing of course, you have to clean up whatever half is not there.My mom has a friend who is a nurse and my mom said that she has to clean poop, so nursing is not fun. My mom's friend who was an RN, ADN and now is a professor at CSUEB does not recommend going into nursing... because of the feces and the night shifts.Jan 4, '17finish high school and then worry about the nursing. Make sure you keep your grades up for high school cause application time is coming next fall for the CSU's and universities. Once you start you will do your prerequisites, by then you will be an adult an your parents won't be able to influence your decisions as much as they do now. They don't have to know you picked a major until your 3Rd year anyway. By the way I'm in Oakland and the nurses out here make over 100,000 easily especially on oakland and san francisco. I'm actually a LEAVING CAL STATE EAST BAY and I'm starting the CCSF NURSING PROGRAM IN A FEW WEEKSJan 4, '17I have worked as a RN for over 15 years and can count on one hand the number of times I have dealt with poop. One option - go to a traditional brick and mortar school and double major (or even earn two degrees). If you go a private school route, this will not cost you more. You could go for the RN, but get your pre-reqs for medical school at the same time, if you wanted. Or, you could go with something that interests you, but may not be the most employable. Finally, medical schools evaluate you based on your MCAT score and your college courses - not high school (though strong high school scores will help you get into a good college, which will add strength to your application.) Simply put, if you are truly interested in medicine, do not rule out medical school based on your high school experience. I did not pursue medical school for a number of complicated reasons......and I regret it to this day.Jan 5, '17There are lots of healthcare jobs out there besides "doctor" and "nurse", have you thought about those other choices? Maybe something like physical therapist would suit you while also making your parents happy. Of course, in the end, its YOUR life. But I would encourage you to explore alllll the options. Good luck!
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